NCBA Fights for America’s Beef Industry as Anti-Animal Ag Groups Pick up Speed

Listen to Ron Hays talk with Tanner Beymer about anti-animal agriculture groups.

At the 2024 Southwestern and Texas Cattle Raisers Convention, Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, caught up with the Senior Director of Government Affairs at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Tanner Beymer, about anti-animal agriculture groups.

“Things in D.C. are pretty dysfunctional at the moment,” Beymer said. “These radical animal rights activists and their partners and their shell groups have been taking advantage of the chaotic situation to try and advance their radical agenda.”

While liberal Democrats have been the typical base of support for anti-animal agriculture groups over the years, Beymer said recently more moderate individuals and some Republicans have also been more sympathetic to the messages being relayed.

“I think part of the reason for that is these animal rights activists have gotten more creative, and they are using some of these shell groups, and using what they think are cattle producers, and dressing them up in a costume and sending them up to Capitol Hill saying, ‘I’m a farmer, and by golly, I want you to kill the Beef Checkoff,’ or ‘I want you to allow California to implement Prop 12.’ Things that no farmer or rancher in their right mind would ever ask for.”

One example Beymer mentioned is that an Indiana Congresswoman, Victoria Spartz, used the appropriate process last year in an attempt to weaken Checkoff programs.

 “She offered an amendment to the House Agriculture Appropriations Bill last August, which would prohibit any taxpayer dollars from being used to implement the Commodity Checkoff Program,” Beymer said. “The reason that is a little bit bizarre sounding is that there are no taxpayer dollars used to implement Checkoffs. Everything from the grants to the administrative costs, to the staff time by USDA personnel to oversee the programs are entirely funded by the assessments themselves.”

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Ag Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

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